Validity Evidence for the Reading Competence Test of Words and Non-Words

By Seabra, Alessandra Gotuzo; Muniz, Monalisa et al. | The Spanish Journal of Psychology, July 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Validity Evidence for the Reading Competence Test of Words and Non-Words


Seabra, Alessandra Gotuzo, Muniz, Monalisa, Primi, Ricardo, The Spanish Journal of Psychology


This study sought evidence of validity for the Reading Competence Test of Words and Nonwords (in Portuguese: Teste de Competência de Leitura de Palavras e Pseudopalavras or TCLPP). This test evaluates silent reading of isolated items by asking the student to determine if presented items of written image-word pairs are correct or not. Two thousand nine hundred and ninety four students from the 1st to 4th grade in public Brazilian elementary schools, of both genders, and between the ages of 6 and 11 years, participated, collectively evaluated in the TCLPP. The results showed the TCLPP's sensitivity for discriminating competence in reading between grades, supporting evidence of validity based on the relationships between the various levels. The difficulty in the items was compatible with the theory on which the test is based, providing evidence of validity based on the response process. Finally, two factors which compose the test were verified, one involving logographic and phonological strategies, and the other, lexical, attesting to evidence of validity based on the internal structure.

Keywords: reading strategies, reading evaluations, item response theory.

Este estudio buscaba evidencia de la validez de la Reading Competence Test of Words and Non-words (en portugués: Teste de Competência de Leitura de Palavras e Pseudopalavras o TCLPP). Esta prueba evalúa la lectura silenciosa de términos aislados, pidiendo a los estudiantes que determinen si los ítems presentados de parejas escritas de imágenes-palabras son o no correctos. Participaron 2994 estudiantes de 1? a 4? curso de colegios públicos elementales brasileños, de ambos géneros, de entre 6 y 11, años de edad, y fueron evaluados colectivamente en la TCLPP. Los resultados demostraron la sensibilidad de la TCLPP para discriminar la competencia en lectura entre los diferentes cursos, aportando evidencia de la validez basada en las relaciones entre los diferentes niveles. La dificultad de los ítems era compatible con la teoría sobre la que se basa la prueba, aportando evidencia de la validez basada en el proceso de respuesta. Por último, se verificaron dos factores que componen la prueba, uno de estrategias logográficas y fonológicas, y el otro léxico, aportando evidencia de la validez basada en la estructura interna.

Palabras clave: estrategias de lectura, evaluaciones de lectura, teoría de respuesta al ítem.

In recent decades, cognitive sciences, and more specifically the approach to information processing, have contributed positively and significantly to theoretic model propositions that explain the mental processes involved in reading (Capovilla, Macedo & Charin, 2002). As a result of cognitive sciences, one may cite the theoretic model for acquisition of reading delineated by Morton (1989) and Frith (1990), which was developed from research on acquisition of reading and writing in normolexicons and on neurological patients that had disorders in these processes. This theoretical model was systematized by Capovilla and Capovilla (2007), and entails three stages in the acquisition of reading, logo graphics, alphabet, and orthography, through which children pass to obtain acquisition of reading, as described below.

In the logographic stage, in which logographic strategies are developed, the children recognize words as if they were designs (like pictographs), not using alphabetic decoding, but the context in which the word is written, having relevance attributed other than spelling, such as the format and general coloring of the word. When the child identifies a word, it is not considered written material, or rather; the child does not attend to the code of correspondence between letters and combinations of letters, which are graphemes, and their respective speaking sounds, the phonemes. Reading is global and consists in frequently seen words, such as the reader's own name, the names of foods and drinks, labels and posters, such as words like Coca-Cola and McDonald's. …

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